Drilon: Looks like we’re taking China’s side
MANILA, Philippine — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was saddened by the revocation of all courtesy diplomatic passports to former envoys.
“I am saddened by that act because mukhang kinakampihan pa natin ang China. I am saddened by that action,” Drilon said in an interview at the Senate on Monday.
“But China is a sovereign country and has the right to exclude anyone from its territory. That’s the prerogative of a sovereign nation in the same manner that we have the prerogative to bar the entry of anyone,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it would cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports after former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, using a Philippine diplomatic passport, was barred from entering Hong Kong last week.
“The DFA Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) will be issuing an order shortly, canceling all courtesy diplomatic passports, and requiring their surrender for physical cancellation,” DFA said in a statement over the weekend.
“The practice of issuing courtesy diplomatic passports to former DFA Secretaries and ambassadors shall henceforth be discontinued,” it added.
Some lawmakers, however, linked Del Rosario’s Hong Kong ordeal to a complaint that the former top diplomat and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court last March.
In May, Morales was also questioned and held at the Hong Kong International Airport. She was denied entry to China’s special administrative region purportedly for being a “security threat.”
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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